Tag Archives: protest

Protests against Iranian regime enter sixth week after death of Mahsa Amini

Protests have taken place in London against the regime in Iran that killed Mahsa Amini because she did not cover her head in a manner considered proper by the authorities there.

This Site has already covered the details here.

This is the latest:

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Braverman’s latest attack on public freedom runs into TORY resistance

Take a look at this – it’s Tory Charles Walker ripping unrestrainedly into Suella Braverman’s latest Public Order Bill:

The clip is from Open Democracy, which has also run an article which states:

The home secretary has tabled a last-minute amendment to a widely criticised anti-protest bill that would allow her to apply for injunctions against anyone she deems ‘likely’ to carry out protests that could cause ‘serious disruption’ to ‘key national infrastructure’, prevent access to ‘essential’ goods or services, or have a ‘serious adverse effect on public safety’. The proposal would also give police the power to arrest anyone they suspect to be breaching such an injunction.

Leading human rights groups say that the Public Order Bill, which is set to reach its final stages in the Commons today, would align the UK’s anti-protest laws with those in Russia and Belarus.

The bill includes new powers, such as protest banning orders, that the government was forced to exclude from its Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act (PCSC) after they were voted down in the House of Lords earlier this year.

Jun Pang, policy and campaigns officer at rights campaign group Liberty, told openDemocracy that the amendment “will effectively give the home secretary the power to clamp down on protests as and when the government chooses. This will have devastating consequences for dissent.”

Other measures proposed in the bill include giving courts the power to issue Serious Disruption Prevention Orders (SDPOs), which can ban individuals from attending protests.

Amnesty International said the proposed law on SDPOs would “go further” than similar legislation in Russia, by giving courts the power to issue them without a conviction. The range of conditions that can be imposed on individuals under the orders include 24/7 GPS monitoring and restricted internet usage.

Labour MPs have raised concerns that the orders, which were previously rejected by the House of Lords for being “draconian”, could be used to prevent workers from joining picket lines. The government is currently embroiled in a months-long industrial dispute with transport workers over pay cuts and could soon face strikes by nurses and teachers.

The bill has also come under fire from anti-racist campaingers for expanding stop and search powers, despite evidence that it is ineffective and disproportionately targets ethnic minorities, particularly young Black men.

Other measures in the bill include a new offence that criminalises the protest tactic of “locking on” where people attach themselves to one another or an immovable object.

Those stopped and found to have items on them – such as bike lock or superglue – which are intended to be used for a “locking on” protest could also be fined an unlimited amount.

The bill also proposes a new offence of interfering with “the use or operation of any key national infrastructure in England and Wales”, or intending to, which includes natural gas sites as well as roads, rail networks and airports. Just Stop Oil activists on Monday shut down the Dartford Crossing that takes southbound M25 traffic over the Thames, in protest against the government giving out new oil and gas licences.

Sadly, the enormous majority given to the Conservatives by former Labour voters who had been tricked into believing they would get better treatment that way meant the Bill has been passed in the Commons, and now goes to the House of Lords, where many of its new powers have already been rejected during a previous attempt.

Source: Public Order Bill: Suella Braverman quietly tries to give herself fresh anti-protest powers | openDemocracy

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If Liz Truss is doing u-turns, how about reversing draconian protest laws?

Russell Howard has focused on the Tory government’s crackdown on protest. Should Liz Truss u-turn on it?

Liz Truss seems to be the u-turning prime minister.

Her latest reversal is on her claim that she would not impose more austerity, voiced in Prime Minister’s Questions last Wednesday (October 12). New Chancellor Germy C- er, Jeremy Hunt went back on that one in his very first TV interview.

So here’s an idea for her: why not reverse a policy that people actually hate?

Here’s Russell Howard, talking about the Tory crackdown on protest. His point? That, if progressive change is ever to take place, the voice of the people must be hard.

And his methodology is hilarious (apologies to those who are offended for the profanity in the image):

There’s no opposing what Russell is saying here.

And Truss would certainly improve her popularity if she changed this law – which hasn’t succeeded anyway, as the clip demonstrates.

So why not do it? Or is she simply too stupid?

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Do YOU support peaceful protest, even if it disrupts your schedule?

It’s a good question – and the answer should not be for members of the public to physically assault the protesters. Or should it?

That’s what MPs and journalists debated on the BBC’s Politics Live. Some of the opinions here may be abhorrent to many viewers – but if you are a protester, it’s good to know how others see you and what they would like to do!

Here’s the clip:

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Young Iranians are protesting against the regime that murders women ‘for their own good’

Murdered: Mahsa Amini.

Brace yourself, because this won’t be easy to watch or read.

Last night (September 29), on Late Night Mash, comedian Shaparak (Shappi) Khorsandi delivered an impassioned attack on the so-called morality police in her homeland of Iran.

These are people who murder women for failing to cover their hair completely. Watch:

For more context on this, here’s another comedian from Iran, Omid Djalili:

Bear in mind that he said 41 people had died four days ago. By yesterday that death toll had more than doubled:

Thousands of Iranians are protesting – and risking their lives to do so – but people across the world are taking action as well.

Here in the UK, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who was imprisoned in Iran for six years, cut her hair in a gesture of solidarity with women in and from Iran who have thrown away their hijabs to do the same:

This should provide some context for her act:

Other people have done other things:

If people in Iran are risking their lives to make a stand against this, then people elsewhere can certainly do something in solidarity.

Will you? Or do you think it’s all right because it isn’t happening to you?

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Freedom of speech row after police start arresting anti-monarchy protesters

Arrested for expressing an opinion: how can the UK still be said to be a nation that supports free speech if the police do this?

Heavy-handed policing has triggered a debate on freedom of expression after police forces around the UK started arresting people who were expressing their free-speech right to call for the end of the monarchy after the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

I wrote about this previously, but more developments have taken place. Watch this:

Now watch this:

I think Phil is mistaken; the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act is what allows the rozzers to cart peaceful protesters away – or at least, that is what I understand they are using.

The Act allows them to remove protesters who cause a disturbance or who are “annoying” others.

But is it really annoying people when someone holds up a sign saying they don’t want a monarchy here any more?

The person who shouted, “Who elected you?” at an event calls the legislation into question because it was possible for proceedings to carry on regardless and no hate speech was involved.

The police reaction does not reflect the general feeling of society – and the surprising aspect of this is that it is a feeling that is held by both left- and right-wingers.

Phil reckons the police may be acting under ancient laws that haven’t fallen off the statute books – but these would be trumped by more recent legislation; the Public Order Act doesn’t cover what’s been done here as there has been no threatening behaviour.

And there are very clear and obvious questions to be answered:

How do people express views like opposition to the monarchy – and get a debate on it – if any such expression is prohibited by our law guardians? And how can the UK government still claim that this is a nation that honours free speech if this is happening?

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Extinction Rebellion activists arrested after Commons chamber protest

This was only to be expected. You can’t break into the seat of UK government and cause a scene, and then expect to walk away totally free.

But it does show one thing: it really was completely disproportionate for the Tory government to try to label Extinction Rebellion as a terrorist organisation.

If the group had been terrorists, they would have been able to level the Palace of Westminster from the inside before anybody in authority had a clue what was happening.

And that’s the reason This Writer thinks the arrests really happened: it is humiliating for Parliamentary authorities to discover that anybody can waltz in and superglue themselves to the Speaker’s chair whenever they feel like it.

So here’s what has happened:

Eight people have been arrested after climate activists glued themselves together around the Speaker’s chair in the House of Commons.

The protestors, from Extinction Rebellion UK, were on a guided tour of Parliament when they took the action, a spokeswoman said.

MPs are currently on their summer break, and are due to return next week.

The Met Police said it had launched an investigation into the “full circumstances of the incident”.

It’s an entirely token effort. These people have probably been released already.

One wonders whether their message will be taken as seriously as their presence was?

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Extinction Rebellion invades Parliament to protest climate change inaction

This just in from Extinction Rebellion:

Just before noon today (Friday, September 2), a group of around fifty people took nonviolent action at the House of Commons to kick off the first phase of Extinction Rebellion’s September plans. The Parliament action began with three people booked on an official tour of the building, gluing themselves in a chain around the Speaker’s Chair inside the Parliamentary Chamber. They took it in turns to read a speech, pointing to the need for a Citizens’ Assembly to cut through the corruption deep in the heart of Westminster. They wore t-shirts that read ‘Let The People Decide’.

Behind the Speaker’s Chair in the great hall, two people held two large banners that read ‘Citizens’ Assemblies Now’ and ‘Let The People Decide’. Outside of the building, a member of Extinction Rebellion climbed up the scaffolding around Big Ben and held another giant banner that read ‘Let The People Decide- Citizens’ Assemblies Now”, while two others chained themselves to the railings.

Everyone inside the building had entered legally via an official tourist booking.

The speech read out in the chamber said: “We are in crisis. And what goes on in this chamber every day makes a joke out of us all. We can not afford to carry on like this. 

“It is possible to act on climate and costs in a way that is fair and supports everyone. But our political system is too out of date and out of touch to see beyond the next election cycle and do what needs to be done. We need a new way of making decisions, where more voices are heard, not just those at the top. We need the true diversity of the country to be represented.

“We need a Citizens’ Assembly, now. Citizens’ Assemblies empower ordinary people to make decisions that benefit everyone. Decisions that can get us out of this mess and make life better, safer, fairer for all of us.”

With a new Prime Minister to be chosen next week by a fraction of the country, and the UK suffering from a cost of living scandal meaning millions won’t be able to pay their bills this winter, faith in politics is at an all time low. There is an urgent need to upgrade our political system to allow more representation and give ordinary people a say over the major crises facing us.

In July this year the high court ruled that the UK Government’s pathway to net zero is unlawful because it is so lacking in detail it’s not even possible to hold them to account on it. Recent polling by Ipsos found that eight out of ten people in the UK are concerned about the climate crisis and over 52% percent think the government’s plan to get net zero by 2050 is too late, that’s around 35 million people who think the government’s plan isn’t good enough. Yet both candidates for PM have said they plan to increase production of new fossil fuels.

Our current politics is too focused on the short termism of the election cycle to tackle the major issues of today, like widespread inequality and the climate and ecological emergency. A citizens’ assembly on climate and costs would break the deadlock on Westminster corruption, allow more people to be represented, and restore trust in politics.

Alanna Byrne of Extinction Rebellion, said: “It is possible to change things and update politics so it really represents ordinary people. Independent citizens’ assemblies can show that those blocking progress in Westminster have no democratic mandate to continue destroying the environment and give power back to people. Selected like a jury and supported with independent, expert knowledge, this is true democracy that reflects the diversity of the population. 

“But to create a new, fairer politics will require first thousands, then millions of us. It will require sustained culture-shifting civil disobedience, until we become impossible to ignore. Then, when there’s enough of us, positive change will become inevitable.”

The action today is the opening act for Extinction Rebellion’s September plans, which itself will act as a launch event for a 5 phase plan to bring 100k people onto the streets in civil resistance next Spring. This exciting new plan will centre people power at its core, because Extinction Rebellion’s mission is to build a movement that is impossible to ignore. [3]

September will boost energy and build momentum as a first step in a laser focused, strategic plan that sees Extinction Rebellion growing in numbers and building momentum towards Spring  2023. Politics as usual will do anything to avoid facing up to the reality of the climate and ecological crisis, so without large numbers out on the streets our demands will be ignored. We believe now more than ever as cost of living leaves people desperate, and strike action for better pay is demonised, that a mass movement of 3.5% of the population is needed to bring about radical change. In order to achieve that there’s an urgent need for a mature plan that people can believe in, a plan which maps out precisely how we can win between now and next Spring.

Extinction Rebellion has worked on a roadmap to success and it begins with fierce mobilisation and connecting with communities across the UK. After the September weekend, we will tour the country to hold People’s Assemblies to capture the true voice of the country and find out the biggest concerns people are facing, and how we can tackle them together. This will be followed by mass disruptive action together with other groups, for maximum impact on October 14th, focusing our outrage at the cost of living scandal into solidarity action.

Following this, Extinction Rebellion will be focused primarily on growing the movement and targeting all of our energy in April 2023.

The plan will be in 5 phases:

PHASE 1: A curtain raiser action prior to the 10th and mass London and UK – wide Paint the Streets on the evening of Friday 9th Sept!

PHASE 2: Meet at Marble Arch on September 10th for 3 days of deliberative democracy, community building & resistance in an undisclosed, disruptive green space.

PHASE 3: Rebellion Buses will tour the country over 4 weeks, hosting People’s Assemblies, meeting and hearing from local groups and communities, engaging in intensive mobilisation.

PHASE 4: On the 14th October we invite everyone to come back to Westminster, London, for disruptive nonviolent civil disobedience to join forces with other groups organising around the cost of living scandal.

PHASE 5: THE BIG ONE – This will centre major government disruption over a prolonged period until the government agrees to empower an independent Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.

Integrated with our methodical mobilisation campaign, Project 3.5, we will pledge to sign up 100k people by Spring 2023 to come back to London for major nonviolent civil resistance to win on our demands.

The protest has been live-tweeted on Twitter:

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Why is this think tank so influential on Tory policy – and who pays for it?

The puppet PM-to-be? Liz Truss appears to be nothing more than a figurehead for shadowy business concerns. Are her strings being pulled by think tanks like Policy Exchange?

Remember the report the Tories pushed into both Houses of Parliament three years ago, attempting to claim that Extinction Rebellion is a terrorist organisation and its protests should be stopped?

A few months later it was revealed that ER had been listed as an “extremist ideology”, to be referred to the Prevent programme – which aims to safeguard vulnerable people from being drawn into terrorism.

There was a row, and then the reference was described as an error and removed.

But it is widely agreed that the report played a large role in the drafting of Priti Patel’s Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act which heavily restricts protest, criminalises many peaceful actions, disproportionately targets minority groups including  people of colour and Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities.

The report had been published by Policy Exchange, a right-wing think tank that is part of the Tufton Street Brexit Nexus which

ties together fossil fuel interests, climate denial groups and a whole array of Brexit campaigns, pushing for a deregulated low-tax playing field pushing profit and growth over people and planet. As well as close ties to most of the current Conservative right politicians, they reach deep into the media, influencing the output of the Telegraph and Spectator, as well as the Times, Mail, Express and Sun.

We don’t know the names of everybody who funds this organisation, but information that is available shows that its work – and therefore Conservative Party policy – is being driven by private business interests:

As well as receiving around £3million per year from undisclosed donors, it has received ‘sponsorship’ money from many UK energy companies for arranging meetings with government ministers, and these included Drax, E.On, Centrica, and lobbyist Energy UK. It also receives money from ‘American Friends of Policy Exchange’, a US non-profit organisation supporting Policy Exchange UK and backed by mainly anonymous donors. They were listed in a 2017 ExxonMobil worldwide-giving report  as receiving a $30,000 donation from the giant fossil fuel corporation. ExxonMobil has spent vast sums over decades on promoting climate denial.

And think about this:

Policy Exchange also funds something called the Judicial Power Project which seeks to limit the rights of our justice system to rein in the power of government ministers or question unfair or draconian legislation. Under the guise of concern over “how and by whom public power is exercised”, it’s basically pushing for more power for heavily-lobbied ministers along with less accountability to a judicial system that may be more resistant to corporate influence.

Other changes suggested by Policy Exchange include calls for amendments to the Overseas Operations Bill, giving soldiers impunity for war crimes, and for government control over appointments of judges; and it has published a major study on “judicial interference” over the government’s Rwanda deal and other anti-asylum proposals. The project strongly influenced the tabling of the Judicial Review Act, which limits citizens’ ability to challenge government decisions in court.

And now, as RealMedia points out,

we are about to face a leader elected by a tiny unrepresentative club, advised by secretly-funded policy units, and cheered on by a media owned by its rich friends and donors.

This will get messy and you will probably be badly harmed by what these people will do. The big question is: how long are you going to let them do it?

Source: The hidden forces pushing change in our democracy and rights – Real Media – The View From Below

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Stop the War Coalition demands emergency protest for Gaza | Beastrabban\’s Weblog

Bombing campaign: these images of explosions caused by Israeli attacks on Gaza were taken in 2020. Israel has been attacking Palestine since the former country was created in 1948.

Here’s another useful post from Beastrabban:

I got this email from Stop the War Coalition this afternoon:

Protest for Palestine – This Wednesday

Last week Israel once again launched a bombing campaign of the besieged Gaza strip. Over 3 days it killed at least 44 Palestinians, including 15 children. More than 300 Palestinians have been wounded and hundreds more displaced.

The bombs, for now, have stopped falling on Gaza, but the injustice continues. Palestinians need us to stand in solidarity, to protest and to take action.

Join us this Wednesday (10th August) to call for an end to Israel’s oppression and to assert the right of the Palestinian people to live in freedom with justice and equality.

Click Here for Full Details

Volunteer with Stop the War?

We need your help at the demonstration with our stall, stewarding, handing out placards and petitioning.

We’ll be meeting at the Downing Street at 5:30pm. Just reply to this email if you would like to help out. ‘

I can’t go, but I’m posting this up for anybody who can.

Source: Stop the War Coalition Calling for Emergency Protest for Gaza on Wednesday | Beastrabban\’s Weblog

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook